Thursday, January 29, 2015

Personal Branding Photography

Years and years of shooting for commercial, editorial and corporate clients have resulted in my being very well positioned to offer a high quality version of one of the newest trends in individual self-promotion: personal branding photography. There are two relevant articles from the Globe and Mail to which I can direct you with these links: Article 1, Article 2.

As with any kind of photography for which someone is going to pay, there is going to be, and should be, an expectation of a fully professional approach. The parameters will vary depending on the nature of the client's business(es) and her goals and focus. But as more and more women, in particular, enter the ranks of small, medium and large business owners in Canada, they are requiring more effective ways to brand themselves and, essentially, support their legitimacy in the minds of media savvy clients and customers. Nothing is as reassuring as authentic portraits that exude the professionalism, attitude, and integrity you, as a successful and trustworthy person in business, embody.

It's amazing how many bad photos there are in online profiles (from selfies, to professional photos that are just not flattering). You can think all you want that how you look should not have anything to do with your success in business or in life, but people do, at least initially, judge books by their covers, so you may as well put forth the best cover you can! 

In the case of the successful and well-established independent business owner pictured here, we spent about four hours between scouting her home office, choosing wardrobe, enhancing her make-up (with which I helped personally as we did not hire a make-up artist), setting up in three different spots and shooting. We went with the most pared down version of a session in that it was just the two of assistant, no hair and make-up, no wardrobe stylist, one location. Had it not been mid-winter and snow-covered outside, we may have added an outdoor shot, if appropriate, to round out the profile. Simple as the shoot was was, though, I will just mention that each shot was carefully lit. I can't believe I'm saying this (because there should be no question) but yes, even the simplest shoot requires lighting. 

Once we completed the session Laurie was able to view a password protected web gallery from which she could download unretouched low res Jpegs for her use. She also selected several favourite images with my help which were then professionally retouched. These files were provided as high res master TIFs and will be the ones she uses for print and collateral marketing materials, and specific requests such as those by clients and organizations requiring profile materials in support of speaking engagements, contributions, etc.

I look forward to collaborating on many more of these comfortable, but energetic, intimate but professional shoots with other accomplished, inspiring and entrepreneurial women*, who understand the value of polished personal profile imagery.

*What about men? The next great personal branding shoot I do for a male client I will review on this blog, with his permission, of course.

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